And probably the neural coding mechanisms are different. Aplysia has a short-term memory and a long-term memory that, as in humans, requires repeat practice with rest periods. In short-term memory , such as the one use, for example, to briefly memorize a phone number and then dial it, only the strength of the synapses present changes, so no functional change occurs.
Short-term memory capacity is very limit, in our case it retains less than twelve items, and if the information is not repeat, it is only store for a few minutes. Aplysia learn the new answers because it modifie its synaptic connections. This was because more or less, depending on the case, a neurotransmitter was release into the synaptic space; specifically glutamate. Glutamate also functions as the major excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain of mammals.
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If its proportion Spain phone number at a synapse, the passage of the nerve message is more fluid. But all these processes were relatively ephemeral and reverse in minutes or hours. For long-term memory , the synthesis of new proteins is necessary, because new connections are form between nerve cells.
This involves a structural change that requires glial cells, astrocytes, to provide the essential fuel, lactic acid. Long-term memory ultimately contains all the knowledge and experience about the world and about oneself. When Aplysia has consolidate a learning experience, it stays permanently in your brain for weeks. Here, of course, Kandel hope to find another kind of neural change.
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It was known that this type of memory involves the creation of new proteins, because if an animal in the process of learning is given drugs that inhibit protein synthesis, it is block with long-term memory, although not the short-term one.
Long-term memory takes place in the same parts of the nervous system as immediate memory, but through a different mechanism: synaptic connections were permanently strengthen during sensitization because new active terminals grew. What had begun in the form of temporary changes cause by neurotransmitters was now transform into structural and persistent changes with the construction of new synaptic terminals.